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Monday, February 28, 2011

What To Do After a Whitening Procedure

Teeth whitening can make a huge difference in the brilliance of your smile. Once you have found a qualified cosmetic dentist to perform this procedure you may want to know what to do after to keep the new sparkling white color of your teeth. All dentists will give you rules to follow after the whitening treatment. If you don’t want to stain your teeth all over again you should try to strictly follow the regulations laid out for you by the dentist.

To guarantee the longevity of the whitening treatment there will be certain foods and drinks you need to avoid. Usually your dentist will give you a list of what not to drink, including: coffee, soda, tea, and any other colored drink. These liquids can stain your teeth post-procedure because for the next three days your teeth will able to absorb any color, until they harden. For the next three days you should stick to drinking clear liquids, which means you cannot have the juice of raspberries, cherries, tomatoes, grapes, peaches, cranberries, blackberries, or red wine.

Another good tip to follow is to not drink anything very hot or very cold. These extreme temperatures cause teeth to expand and contract, which will permit stains to easily penetrate after the teeth whitening procedure. Also, use a straw when drinking acceptable liquids, thus reducing the amount of liquid that passes the front of your teeth. This will prevent the enamel from breaking down.

Foods to avoid after the teeth whitening process are any dark-colored foods, and most sauces. These include balsamic vinegar, beets, soy sauce, some Spanish and Indian foods, and dark chocolate. Just remember that if it has a darker color or you know think there might be dye in the food try to avoid it to prevent recurring stains. Follow these guidelines and you will retain your beautifully whiter smile.

All About Dental Crowns

There are three kinds of commonly used dental crowns:


Depending on your cosmetic goals, financial restrictions, and oral health needs, you can discuss with your dentist the most appropriate route for you.


Porcelain dental crowns (also known as all-ceramic) are the most aesthetically pleasing and natural looking dental crown, as it is completely metal-free. However, there are drawbacks, such as it is not as strong or durable as its counterparts and thus should not be used in heavily used areas of the mouth.


Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are the most commonly used dental crowns today. They are more durable than pure porcelain and remain a very natural looking option. However, as time peels back your gum line, more of the metal collar will show.


While not as popular as porcelain dental crowns, gold crowns are still used today under specific circumstances. For instance, if a patient grinds or clenches their teeth, gold crowns are the best route as they are more durable than porcelain options. Additionally, they provide more longevity than their porcelain counterparts.

Dental Whitening Vs. In Home Whitening

The main differences are:
•Strength of bleaching agent. For starters, over-the-counter home use products and dentist-supervised at-home products usually contain a lower strength-bleaching agent (from 10% carbamide peroxide-which is equivalent to about 3 percent hydrogen peroxide ? up to 22% carbamide peroxide). In-office, professionally applied tooth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide in concentrations ranging from 15 to 43 percent.

•Mouthpiece trays. With dentist-supervised at-home bleaching products, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and make a mouthpiece tray that is customized to exactly fit your teeth. This customization allows for maximum contact between the whitening gel, which is applied to the mouthpiece tray, and the teeth. A custom-made tray also minimizing the gel's contact with gum tissue. Over-the-counter whitening products do contain a mouthpiece tray, but the "one-size-fits-all" approach means that the fit will not be exact. Ill-fitting trays can irritate the gum and soft tissue by allowing more bleaching gel to seep onto these tissues. With in-office procedures, the bleaching agent is applied directly to the teeth.

•Additional protective measures teeth whitening. In the office setting, your dentist will apply either a gel to the gum tissue or use a rubber shield (which slides over the teeth) prior to treatment to protect your gums and oral cavity from the effects of the bleaching. Over-the-counter products don't provide these extra protective measures.

•Speed of the bleaching process. Dentist-supervised at-home bleaching and over-the-counter bleaching products typically need to be applied every day for 1 or 2 hours or every overnight for up to 4 weeks. In-office bleaching provides the quickest and most effective way to whiten teeth. With in-office bleaching, the whitening product is applied directly to the teeth. These products can be used in combination with heat, a special light, and/or a laser. The light and/or heat accelerate the whitening process. Results are seen in only 1, 30- to 60-minute treatment. To achieve dramatic results, however, several appointments are usually needed. With laser-enhanced bleaching, however, dramatic results can be seen after the first treatment.

All About Teeth Whitening

Whitening Toothpastes: All toothpastes help remove surface stains through the action of mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach; over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide (a bleaching substance) that helps remove stains on the tooth surface as well as stains deep in the tooth. None of the home use whitening toothpastes can come even close to producing the bleaching effect you get from your dentist's office. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth's color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in your dentist's office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.

Whitening Strips and Whitening Gels:

•Whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based gels applied with a small brush directly to the surface of your teeth. Instructions generally call for twice a day application for 14 days. Initial results are seen in a few days and final results are sustained for about 4 months. The retail cost for this product is about $15 for a 14-day treatment.

•Whitening strips are very thin, virtually invisible strips that are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. The strips are applied twice daily for 30 minutes for 14 days. Initial results are seen in a few days and final results are sustained for about 4 months. The retail cost for this product ranges from $10 to $55 for a 14-day treatment.

Both of these products contain peroxide in a concentration that is much lower than the peroxide-based products that are used in your dentist's office. Although some teeth lightening will be achieved, the degree of whitening is much lower than results achieved with in-office or dentist-supervised whitening systems. Additionally, use of over-the-counter products do not benefit from the close supervision of your dentist ? to determine what whitening process may be best for you, to check on the progress of the teeth whitening process and look for signs of gum irritation. On the positive, the over-the-counter gels and strips are considerably less expense (ranging from $10 to about $55) than the top-of-the line in-office whitening procedures, which can cost nearly $800.

Gum Disease? All About Its Treatment

Bad breath and bleeding gums are often associated with periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. Periodontal disease occurs when the pockets around the gum tissue begins to widen and gums begin to recede. As the pockets get deeper, the risk of bacterial infection increases and the gums continue to wear down over time. The good news is that periodontal disease can be treated with several dentistry procedures. If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, here’s what you need to know about your treatment options:

Dental Treatments for Periodontal Disease

Periodontists may sue a combination of minimally-invasive procedures and surgery to treat gum disease, and your treatment plan will depend on the amount of time that has passed since your last root planning and cleaning procedure, and the extent of the damage. Some of the most commonly used dental procedures for gum disease include:

Pocket Reduction Procedures

Gum Regenerative Procedures

When you are pursuing treatment for gum disease, the first step involves measuring the depth of the pockets around your teeth. The dentist or hygienist will use a special measuring tool to determine how deep the pockets are, and what level of tartar deposits are embedded between the teeth and gums. In order to bring your teeth and gums back to a healthy state, the dentist will need to scrape away the tartar deposits and massage the gums back in place so that they can reattach to the tartar-free bone.

Over time, the gums will begin to tighten around the teeth and reduce the risk of bacteria getting into the bone. Reduced pockets and daily oral hygiene can help prevent serious health problems associated with gum disease, and also ensure you have a healthier smile.

Laser Dental Treatments for Gum Disease
Many cosmetic dentists and periodontists now use laser technologies to perform scaling and root planning procedures. Some research shows that lasers can improve results and reduce the risk of extensive tissue damage to the gums during the scaling and root planning process. When the right wavelength of laser energy is used on the patient during periodontal therapy, there may be less swelling, discomfort and bleeding. In most cases, the insurance company will cover the costs of the treatment for laser dental treatments in the same way as a non-laser treatment.

Cosmetic Procedures for Treating Periodontal Disease

In addition to the corrective and regenerative procedures available for treating gum disease, a periodontist may recommend a set of cosmetic procedures to enhance your smile and improve the functioning of the teeth and gums. Common cosmetic procedures for those who are being treated for gum disease include:

Ridge Augmentation
Soft Tissue Grafting
Crown Lengthening

If you have lost a tooth because of excessively receding gums or periodontal disease, you may also be referred to a cosmetic dentist for dental implants. Dental implants help to restore your smile and can replace one or more teeth without affecting the bordering teeth. You can choose from endosteal implants (in the bone) or subperiosteal (on the bone) depending on the health of your gums and the quality of the existing teeth.

Learn more about the latest dental treatments in our information guide, or consult with a cosmetic dentist in your area to find out if you are a good candidate for treatments for gum disease.

Cosmetic Veneers

Cosmetic dentistry can be a life changing experience that is capable of giving you that confidence to smile again. Aesthetic porcelain veneers can be used that are bonded directly to your own teeth to transform your smile. Cosmetic veneers can remake an uneven and crooked smile into a glamorous one that is completely natural looking. Veneers can also be used to lengthen teeth that are too short or shorten teeth that are too long, re-proportion your smile and permanently whiten your teeth.

In preparation for your porcelain veneers, your dentist will need to speak with you about the goals you would like to achieve in your new smile. The dentist will need to gather dental records, including radiographs, photographs and study models to help design your new smile. Smile design is an essential component in an aesthetic dental treatment plan. Smile design is a concept that combines art and science to enhance, remodel, or create a beautiful smile.

The latest information and technology are used in designing a smile, where the face, lips, gum tissue and teeth are visualized in their entirely to create the best smile for each patient. This may involve taking digital photos and measurements to analyze tooth width and length, teeth positioning in regards to the lip and to each other, tooth color, gum height, space reduction and the symmetry of the smile.

Smile design involves visualizing the possibilities and then producing the desired results. It can be as simple as whitening the teeth, reshaping the gum tissue, or bonding small spaces or chipped teeth, or it can be creating the ultimate smile makeover using all porcelain veneers.

Veneers are very strong, thin, porcelain shells that are permanently bonded to your natural teeth. After shaping the teeth and taking accurate dental impressions, temporary veneers may be placed, allowing you to get a preview of your new smile. Your dentist will communicate closely with skilled dental lab technicians to ensure a natural appearing color and translucency in the porcelain veneers. The patient then returns to the dental office to have the polished porcelain veneers fitted and strongly bonded to your teeth. After clean up, polishing and final photographs, a look in the mirror reflects your new, beautiful smile.

Specialized veneers, such as Lumineers, provide gorgeous smiles with no shots and little or no drilling. Best used in patients that desire chiefly permanent whitening, closing small gaps or correcting slightly crooked teeth, Lumineers can be made as thin as a contact lens and offer the translucency seen in real teeth.

If you are missing teeth, this does not exclude you from a new smile. Dental implants and porcelain bridges can be used to replace missing teeth and be used in conjunction with porcelain veneers to complete your smile makeover.

Cosmetic veneers and tooth whitening materials continue to improve so that dental professional can achieve the cosmetic dentistry that will enhance your lovely smile until it's downright gorgeous!